Catchment News

The Water Framework Directive

| in

Total Files1
Size858.10 KB
Create Date14th April 2000
Last Updated

The Water Framework Directive was agreed by all individual EU member states in 2000, and its first cycle ran from 2009-2015. The Directive runs in 6 year cycles, so the 2nd Cycle runs from 2016-2021.

Having one Framework for water quality for all of the 4,933 waterbodies in Ireland, and all the others across Europe, allows us to compare our results, and see what works to help us make sure all our surface and ground water achieves ‘Good Status’. Rivers, lakes, coastal and transitional water can all have 5 statuses – High, Good, Moderate, Poor and Bad. Groundwater has just 2 statuses – Good and Poor.

The Water Framework Directive.pdf  Download  


Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our water bodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters Programme.


Local Authority Waters Programme

The Local Authority Waters Programme coordinates the efforts of local authorities and other public bodies in the implementation of the River Basin Management Plan, and supports local community and stakeholder involvement in managing our natural waters, for everyone’s benefit.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,842 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives for each.


Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures to protect and restore our waters.